Biden declares major disaster in Haywood County

More than three weeks after deadly flash flooding along the East Fork of the Pigeon River killed six and displaced hundreds, President Joe Biden announced that a major disaster exists and that federal assistance will supplement state and local efforts in the affected area.

State and federal officials respond to Haywood flooding

As Haywood County continues to assess damage from the Pigeon River flooding associated with excess rainfall from Tropical Storm Fred on Aug. 18, local officials are asking for help in a number of ways while noting a pair of grim milestones associated with the destruction.

As COVID rages, Canton Labor Day events debated

After the Canton Board of Aldermen/women spent nearly three hours on Aug. 9 going back and forth with Haywood County Medical Director Dr. Mark Jaben over how — if at all — the town’s iconic Labor Day Festival could be held safely, a rare split vote with a tiebreaker cast by Mayor Zeb Smathers set the stage for ongoing debate.

Canton town manager resigns

Jason Burrell, an integral part of the town of Canton’s administration for the past 12 years and town manager for the past four, has resigned.

Canton town manager suspended

Effective immediately Canton Town Manager Jason Burrell has been suspended indefinitely without pay pending further board action, Mayor Zeb Smathers told a meeting of town employees earlier this afternoon while accompanied by Mayor Pro Temp Gail Mull.

Biden’s American Rescue Plan means millions for NC local governments

While most Americans are looking forward to receiving the $1,400 payments included in President Joe Biden’s $1.88 trillion American Rescue Plan (ARP) passed by Congress on March 6, counties and towns across the country are also eagerly awaiting a stimulus package of their own.

Haywood scores touchdown on stadium capacity limits

It’s not something that happens all that often, but a late fourth-quarter drive by Western North Carolina’s state and local elected officials helped them find pay dirt in the end zone — in this case, raising the coronavirus-related capacity limits on outdoor high school athletic events.

Insurrection: WNC leaders react

In the interest of transparency, all responses from local officials regarding the Jan. 6 insurrection have been published online, in their entirety. Some submissions may have been lightly edited for grammar, spelling and punctuation or to conform with AP style. 

Canton alderman candidate backs out of race

The race to fill an unexpired aldermanic seat in Canton just got a lot easier for Pisgah High School science teacher Tim Shepard.

Local officials weigh in on legal marijuana

On Jan. 15, The Smoky Mountain News contacted almost every elected official in Haywood County for whom an email address was listed with the county’s board of elections. Around half failed to respond, but those who did were sometimes too verbose for print, so an excerpt from their response was used in the Jan. 23 edition of The Smoky Mountain News. In the interest of transparency, their full responses are included here.

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